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NAHA, Okinawa — The last bit of evidence was introduced Tuesday in the rape trial of Dag Allen Thompson.

During a 15-minute hearing in Naha District Court, the defense introduced photos of two cotton swabs used in DNA tests. Prosecution witnesses say the swabs prove that Thompson, 35, a former Marine and employee of Exchange New Car Sales on Kadena Air Base, raped two Okinawa women.

However, lead defense attorney Toshimitsu Takaesu would not disclose the significance of the photos — one of which showed a slice of a swab’s tip was cut off and the other that a slice was taken from the side of the swab.

“It’s the key to our case,” Takaesu told reporters after the hearing. “You’ll find out during my closing argument.”

The prosecution is scheduled to make closing arguments in the case on Feb. 3. Takaesu is to make his case for the defense on Feb. 9. In a previous hearing he contended that samples of semen taken from the two crime scenes and Thompson’s saliva could have been contaminated.

However, a forensics expert who testified Jan. 18 said he reviewed the procedures used by police in testing the samples and found no contamination.

Thompson, who is married to an Okinawan, has been in jail since he was arrested in October 2004 in connection with the Aug. 22, 2004, rape of a Chatan woman. DNA evidence in that case later led to charges of housebreaking and rape in Naha in June 1998.

Takaesu has submitted a motion to dismiss the Naha case, claiming U.S military authorities were not properly notified of the charges under the Status of Forces Agreement.

The prosecution contends that Thompson was not under SOFA status when the rape occurred. However, according to a manager for Exchange New Car Sales, Thompson started work 18 days before the Naha rape incident.


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